“This land is our land . . .”

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. . . from the redwood forest . . .


Who among us doesn’t remember singing along and feeling proud of our countryside? It was an era of protesting the educational system, the government, the war, the “establishment” in general, and anything else we could protest, but we loved our land – the unique geography that makes up these United States.

In fact, there is a movement to change our National Anthem to something more sing-able. I cast my vote for “This Land Is Your Land.”

During the past few weeks while I was in California, I re-visited the coastal range where I’d spent so much time during the 70s and 80s. Some of those years were spent in the San Francisco Bay Area and some were along the Central Coast of San Luis Obispo County, but it’s all fairly similar.

Winding through the streets from Palo Alto toward the Pacific Ocean, I felt the same sense of freedom that I had so many decades ago. Much has changed, but the terrain will remain the same forever, I think.

Because I was at the wheel, I couldn’t take as many pictures as I wanted to, so mostly they exist only in my mind’s eye. I was able to stop and get a few shots, however.

One of the stopping points along the crest was the Windy Hill Open Space Preserve. This sign warns visitors what to do in case they encounter a mountain lion.

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Beyond the sign, a path led into the preserve area. The sky was just as beautiful as I remember it. We used to call the hills “golden,” even though they were basically just “brown.” I still love those golden rolling slopes.

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This preserve of 1,312 acres includes 12.2 miles of trail. Please check this link to read more about it.

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If you carefully cross the road from the parking area, you get a spectacular view of the Peninsula.

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Another stop along the drive was by a restaurant that was closed for the day. It was explained to me about the “second-growth” redwoods. As you can see here, there is a cluster of trees around a bare piece of ground. The original old redwood was either logged out over 150 years ago or could have been hit by lightning. These new “baby trees” sprouted up around where the mother tree had been.

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The opening photo gives another perspective on a grove of second-growth trees. These magnificent trees may be relatively young, but they still take my breath away – and make me proud that they are a part of my country.

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The tops of the trees just seem to reach toward the sky for an eternity!



When I stopped for gas at a crossroads, I couldn’t pass up the chance to take a shot of Alice’s Restaurant! This is not the restaurant that inspired Arlo Guthrie’s song of protest against war. In fact, it is the other way around – this restaurant took its name from the song. The original “Alice’s Restaurant” was in Massachusetts. It seemed appropriate somehow, to include this bit of nostalgia here.

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We had lunch at Duarte’s Tavern in Pescadero – a busy spot where some of the very finest food can be found. I started with a bowl of Cream of Green Chili Soup, a dish I’m going to experiment with making at home. It was heavenly, but there was no way they were going to give me the recipe! I followed the soup with a fried oyster roll. It’s hard to say which was better! A dessert of warm Ollieberry pie with ice cream was shared with my friend.

Even though I live in “Paradise,” there is a lot about California I miss. What I do not miss is the traffic, which has gotten worse since I left. I’ve become too accustomed to a more casual lifestyle. Still, I intend to keep visiting whenever I get the chance.

Today, we could write more verses to add to our song that would include our island state of Hawai`i, or our northernmost state of Alaska. All fifty states are worth going to see! If you have never been to California, it’s worth braving the crowds and traffic to see a special part of our incredible country. “This land was made for you and me.”

You might enjoy watching a video of a this modern-day song that reminds us of what our country is and what it stands for on this Fourth of July Weekend.


A hui hou!


California Avenue Ambrosia

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A special thanks and big hug to my brother, Hilton Jones, who was my guest poster while I was away from my blog for several weeks. I spent many years living in California at different times in my life, but I had not been there to really re-live some of those days in a long time. I’m back home now, full of stories and pictures of my trip to California to visit family and friends, so you’ll be hearing about it for the next few weeks while I catch up on my gardening here in Hawaii.

Part of my journey included chauffeuring a friend who had recently had total knee replacement. The first Sunday I was there, he wanted to visit his favorite breakfast spot in Palo Alto. To our surprise, California Street was closed off for a Sunday Farmers’ Market. We managed to find a parking spot, eat a hearty breakfast, then wander through the market to sample the many varieties.

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There was almost too much to take in, and of course, there wasn’t much of it I could bring back home. Still, I had loads of fun talking with the vendors, buying a few things to eat while I was in California, telling them about my “gardening blog,” taking pictures to show my fans. This first post (there will be several) is about the variety of fruits I found there. I still didn’t get pictures of everything, even after making two Sunday visits to the market!

In 1997, the Urban Village Farmers’ Market Association was formed to provide local and regional foods. This page gives information on the other markets that are part of this non-profit association. Some are year-round markets, others are seasonal. If you are traveling through California, please stop and support this wonderful phenomenon.

One of the first stops I made was to the Triple Delight blueberry stand, since I try to eat blueberries every day. They are so delicious and super good for you. These were some of the plumpest and brightest blue I’d ever seen. I quickly got over my shyness and asked to take a picture of this lovely couple. I visited them a second time before I left to come back home to Hawaii. Both Sundays, there was a line-up of people waiting to get their blueberries. May they never run out of blueberries, because I promise to come back to visit again!

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It was cherry season, and there were several varieties of cherries everywhere! Even after a big breakfast, I couldn’t resist sampling the sweet red cherries and colorful Rainier cherries . . .

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. . . and the dark red Bing cherries. If I’d had an oven handy, I would have made one of my famous cherry pies!

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These colorful Rio Red grapefruits were so tempting.

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Strawberries were everywhere! Ever since I was a child, I think strawberries have been my very favorite fruit of all!

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The donut peaches were so cute – and smelled so sweet!

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Apricots have such a short growing season, so I was happy to be there on a weekend when they were on display. I had tried some from a local grocery store earlier in the week but they weren’t nearly as tasty as these from the market! Various vendors displayed combinations of apricots, raisins, cherries, and peaches.

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On our second Sunday visit to this wonderful market (and hearty breakfast), we stopped to chat with Nick, the vendor from Prevedelli Farms.

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Of course, we had to taste their fresh raspberry jam. My friend loves to make jam and calls it his “retirement therapy.” He bought a jar of theirs to take to his house. My luggage was already getting over-stuffed or I would have brought a jar home, too. Here you can see other products from the Prevedelli Farms.

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I leave you with this incredible display of Prevedelli’s fresh, delicate and luscious raspberries, as well as a glance at some of their other products.

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Since I can’t visit this market every Sunday, I invite you to go and check it out for yourself, then come back here and make a comment on your own reaction.

A hui hou!


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